Thursday, November 18, 2010

Senate 2012 - it begins

Yellow = Tossup, light = leaning, solid = likely, dark = safe
Above is a map of the 2012 US Senate races, colour-coded by party, according to Roll Call/CQ Politic's recent compilation of the next batch of Senate races, which you can see here.

Unlike 2010, when most Senate seats that were up had Republican incumbents, 2012 will be the opposite, with 20 (22 including Independents) of the 33 seats up for re-election being held by a Democrat. This gives the GOP the best opportunity possible to flip control of the Senate, which, despite trends in their favour, they failed to do in 2010. Indeed, of the 7 "Tossups," 4 are Democratic seats, and 1 is an Independent (specifically, Joe Lieberman) who caucuses with them. The two Republican tossups are Senator John Ensign of Nevada, and Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts (of RINO fame).

The current standings in the Senate are 53 Dems and 47 GOPers, meaning that the Republicans need to flip 4 seats to gain an absolute majority in the Senate. According to Roll Call/CQ, that's a big, big possibility.

However, the Democrats should probably be given the advantage for 2012. Given that it will also be re-election year for Obama (and his powerful GOTV machine), and that they were able to hold on to the Senate in 2010 despise a huge swing against them, they're clearly not going to be pushovers. It'll be another interesting year, to be sure.

Below is a list summarizing the upcoming Senate seats according to the map, plus links to all their wiki pages for some fun Senator-stalking!

Tossup
Connecticut -  Sen. Joe Lieberman (I)
Florida - Sen. Bill Nelson (D)
Massachusetts - Sen. Scott Brown (R)
Missouri - Sen. Claire McCaskill (D)
Nebraska - Sen. Ben Nelson (D)
Nevada - Sen. John Ensign (R)
West Virginia - Sen. Joe Manchin (D)

Leaning Dem
Michigan - Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D)
Minnesota - Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D)
Montana - Sen. Jon Tester (D)
New Jersey - Sen. Bob Menendez (D)
North Dakota - Sen. Kent Conrad (D)
Ohio - Sen. Sherrod Brown (D)
Pennsylvania - Sen. Bob Casey (D)
Rhode Island - Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
Virginia - Sen. Jim Webb (D)
Washington - Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)
Wisconsin - Sen. Herbert Kohl (D)

Leaning GOP
Maine - Sen. Olympia Snowe (R)

Likely Dem
California - Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D)
Hawaii - Sen. David Akaka (D)
New York - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D)

Likely GOP
Indiana - Sen. Dick Lugar (R)
Tennessee - Sen. Bob Corker (R)

Safe Dem
Delaware - Sen. Tom Carper (D)
Maryland - Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D)
New Mexico - Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D)
Vermont - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I)

Safe GOP
Arizona - Sen. John Kyl (R)
Mississippi - Sen. Roger Wicker (R)
Texas - Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R)
Utah - Sen. Orrin Hatch (R)
Wyoming - Sen. John Barrasso (R)

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